Entry by Bill Cochrane
The Moore County Land Use Steering Committee held their Feb. 25 meeting at 6:00 P.M. at the Senior Enrichment Center on US-15/501. There are only two more meetings to go. The Committee is nearing its conclusions -- more on that in a moment.
The agenda for this meeting may be found here
. First on the agenda was a panel discussion to answer questions and provide input for the Committee. The panel included Caleb Miles
, President and CEO of the Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau; John Burns
, First Bank; Densel Williams
, Moore County Homebuilders Association; Patrick Coughlin
, Moore County Chamber of Commerce; and Matt West
, Founder & CEO of Intangibles, LLC.Moore County citizens should be very interested in what these folks had to say about the economy, growth prospects, and future of Moore County. You may view the video of the panel session below; it is about one hour in duration. But again, I think you'll find the session to be very interesting.Next, the Committee broke into three groups, each of which reviewed and discussed assigned sections of the current draft of the Land Use Plan.
First, a word about the current draft: It does not yet include any plans or goals. All content is currently "background content" which is being considered and used by the Committee to formulate the "meat" of the report -- i.e. the goals, proposals, and policies. Currently, those "placeholder" pages are located in the back of the document. I have suggested that the actual report pages be placed at the front of the document with all of the background pages organized into appendices that can be referenced in the actual Committee Report. Hopefully this will be done so that a reader does not have to wade through reams of statistics, data, and historical facts to find the Committee's recommendations.The two groups other than the one to which I was assigned followed directions and stuck to the assigned task. The group in which I found myself
first bogged down in listing other detailed data which they wanted to add -- information which was, in my opinion far too detailed and pertained to subjects and matters which can not and should not be addressed by the Land Use Steering Committee (such as counting the number of home schooled children in Moore County -- the reason cited was to help plan how many schools would be needed and where those schools should be built. I believe this is the job of the School Board with Board of Commissioners oversight -- NOT the job of the Land Use Steering Committee.)Eventually, the group shifted its attention to writing potential goals and recommendations -- deviating from the instructions given by the Chair and Moderator. Worse, in the discussions and wording of these potential goals and recommendations, the content, language, and concepts were straight out of the Agenda for the 21st Century (Agenda 21). These folks have all drunk the green kool-aid and have accepted the ideology of Agenda 21 proponents completely.They are ready to push for high density development, in the townships, with all facilities within walking distance of the dwelling apartment. Bike trails and greenways to be managed and maintained by the government with land "donated" by developers in order to obtain necessary permits. Bikeways linked and running throughout the county with nodes of government-run parks and "green spaces". "Public-private partnerships" between local governments and local businesses to accomplish and implement the vision and goals. More "protection" and regulation of habitats, watersheds, open spaces, and other "sustainable" "assets". More consideration of "natural resources" in the planning and permitting of development.I began to suspect that I had somehow been assigned to a United Nations ICLEI committee.
The discussions seemed to come right out of the U.N. document
There were no audience members at this meeting. No citizens are coming to hear and observe. No one is coming to provide input and to make sure this group does not go off in the wrong direction. The makeup of the group is diverse, but all are the usual movers, shakers and activists. I readily admit that I have biases, but I'm not a voting member.There are only two more meetings. The final preparation of this document is going to go down really fast according to the Chairman's intentions. If you want to have your say, or at least be knowledgeable to object or support -- you really must get involved in the next two meetings.Please!?!??!
Entry by Bill Cochrane
The Moore County Land Use Steering Committee held its January meeting at the Senior Enrichment Center on US Hwy. 15-501 beginning at 6:00 P.M. First on the Agenda, mayors or their representatives from the Moore County towns addressed the Steering Committee on questions pertaining to the relevancy and impact of the Moore County Land Use Plan on their municipalities. The Committee heard from Steve Durham, Mayor Pro Tem of Foxfire Village; Nancy Fiorillo, Mayor of Village of Pinehurst; David McNeill, Mayor of Town of Southern Pines; Betsy Mofield, Mayor of Aberdeen; Jerry Williams, Mayor Pro Tem of Pinebluff; Lonnie English, Mayor of Robbins; and Bob Zschoche, Mayor of Town of Whispering Pines.
Next, the Committee heard from Ed Dennison, Chairmand of the Moore County Board of Education, and from Aaron Spence, Superintendent of Public Schools of Moore County. These addressed issues pertaining to school property, school growth and replacement, and demographics.
Finally, Committee Chairman, Robert Hayter, and Moore County Planner, Jeremy Rust, addressed items of business for the Committee, including charges for the Committee to accomplish at the February meeting.
The agenda for the January 28 meeting may be found here
The slides from the Nov. 26 meeting of the Committee's Oct., 2012, charettes planning session may be found here
The summary presentation of the Committee's charettes planning session may be found here
The current draft of the Land Use Plan may be found here
.Folks, this effort is quickly drawing to a conclusion. There are only two more meetings before the Committee plans to present its final plan/report document to the Moore County Board of Commissioners. I have provided my latest comments to the Moore County Planners and Committee Chair:
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"NO! Not “prosperity rights” – PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS! We all want prosperity, but we value and treasure our private property rights. I am still stinging that nowhere in the document yet is there assurance to the citizens of Moore County that their private property rights will be protected and maximized with minimal incursions only for carefully considered and very essential restrictions to protect the private property rights of neighboring property owners.
I do not at all agree that “culture, economy, and natural resources” should be factored equally. Factored equally by whom? Natural resources are the private property of the property owner! Are you saying, somehow, that the “culture” – whoever that is – is going to somehow constrain my private property rights? NO! I think not! I am very, very concerned that we are beginning to take approaches with language and policy here that are very corrosive to private property rights and to long-term prosperity by eroding the very foundations of freedom and enterprise.
I don’t want “respect and consideration” for my rights – I want protection and guarantees that government will not trample on my rights or erode my freedoms and my rights. I’m getting far too much of that from Washington already! I don’t need more from Moore."
"And where is the entire draft in .pdf or other “electronic” format that we were promised would be provided by email or posted on the county website? Your attachment was only Pgs. 5 & 6. I want to post and publicize the entire draft document for as many “eyes” as I can.
On that note, my initial reaction is that, very much like the 'Working Lands Protection Plan' document, this draft is chock-filled with “fluff and stuff” – extensive regurgitated statistics and prose on a variety of topics. Do I see the relevancy to land use planning? Of course. All of the information is material and facts that the Land Use Steering Committee should consider during its work to produce recommendations for the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
However, to burden and dominate the Committee’s report with all of this material serves primarily to distract and weary the average reader, causing numbness to the real 'meat' of the document. I am always impressed with the ability and inclination of government to produce bloated wearisome documents and regulations. (It’s not a good impression.) Nearly all of the material that I criticize here could be incorporated by reference. If this were to be an educational treatise, then I would take a different view. However, it is my understanding that this is to be a concise policy recommendation of land use policy for the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
Why do we need to make a thick novelette of it? Wouldn’t an appendix of references and appropriate footnoting suffice? By the time an average citizen were to slog through all this stuff, he/she would be adequately fatigued and numbed-down that we could recommend the prohibition of domestic inclusion of all non-homo-sapien mammalian vertebrates, and many folks would snooze right through it.
Please understand, I’m not denigrating the importance of the material for the consideration by the LUPSC itself – I am simply questioning why we need to produce a volume encumbered with so much regurgitated material rather than using references. I urge keeping an eye on our mission and keeping our report crisp and concise. More verbiage is not always better unless one is attempting to distract and redirect.
And, I very, very, very much prefer the Board of Commissioners’ original vision/mission statement to the one which has now been proposed."
We need you to voice your positions and concerns. You may send your comments to Chairman Robert Hayter
, or you may come to the next Land Use Plan Steering Committee meetings on the following dates and address the entire Committee:
- Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6pm (Moore County Senior Enrichment Center’s Grand Hall)
- Monday March, 18, 2013 at 6pm (Moore County Senior Enrichment Center’s Grand Hall)
The Moore County Board of Commissioners held their October 16 meeting in the 2nd floor of the old courthouse, Carthage, NC, beginning at 6:00 pm. Two issues were troubling:
1. A legal violation involving the County Manager's approval of an antenna installation on County property by BroadLink
was addressed. However, questions remain unanswered, and there is obviously a great deal more than was revealed or discussed tonight. I'll wager that The Daily Haymaker
will soon expose more of the story.
2. The County Planning Department secured approval to propose a revised mission statement for the Land Use Steering Committee. However, I and other members of the Land Use Steering Committee have never heard discussions in the meetings about proposing to the County Board of Commissioners a revised Mission Statement. Who has been "working" on such a revised statement? And why would the Planning Department bring a proposed revision to the Board of Commissioners which has not been discussed and voted upon by the Committee?The meeting packet can be found here.Bill Cochrane
On Monday, September 17, 2012 the Steering Committee met from approximately 6-8:40pm to receive a presentation on Land Use Optimization that was presented by Steering Committee Chairman Robert Hayter. You can see and listen to a recording of the presentation below. (I apologize for the sound quality -- I didn't record it! -- B. Cochrane)
Following the conclusion of the presentation the new meeting facilitator, Mark Molitor, was introduced to the Committee. Mr. Molitor facilitated a discussion with the Committee asking them questions such as what does it mean to have a land use plan, and how might they feel it should be used in the future. T o view a copy of the full meeting summary please click here
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, October 29, 2012 at 6:00pm at the Moore County Senior Enrichment Center. (See map
). The focus of the October 29th meeting will for the Steering Committee to take part in a Land Use Plan mapping exercise and discuss their experience. All steering committee meetings are open to the public, interested parties are welcome and encouraged to attend and speak during the public comment period. A public comment period is scheduled at the end of each meeting.Jeremy Rust
Moore County Planning & Community Development
The problem I see with Mr. Hayter's remarks is: Who decides what is "optimum"? Unfortunately, it seems he might want to leave that judgement to government foremost or even alone. Who sets "Value"? I maintain that should be the free market. Who decides what "Enhancement" is "optimum" for a property? I say it should be primarily the property owner and, if up for sale, the prospective purchaser. Certainly there must be some reasonable community standards. Zoning protects neighbors and ensures rational development. But private property rights are of utmost importance. And I'm not sure where Mr. Hayter is going with the "R" for "Resource".... Resources are definitely given to us to be used for making life better. His use of the word "sustainability" harkens to those who argue that resources must be "conserved" or "preserved" for all future generations, thus denying a property owner the rights to using his own private property.
I say again: It is vital that residents and taxpayers of Moore County pay close attention to what is being done in this Committee -- to the words and policies which are being proposed for inclusion in the update of Moore County's Land Use Plan. These policies will ultimately affect the direction of the county and the degree of vitality and prosperity enjoyed by us residents and taxpayers.
On Monday, July 30th from 6-8pm the Steering Committee met to continue their discussion of the 1999 Land Use Plan, focusing on the Goals, and their objectives established in 1999. As for the Land Use Plan review portion of the July 30th meeting the Committee focused on Goals 3, Objective 4 through Goal 4, Objective 3. To view a summary of revisions logged regarding the current land use plan to date by the committee, please click here
At approximately three-quarters of the way through the meeting the Chairman initiated a discussion of the plan update process. This discussion gave Committee members a chance to evaluate progress and methods for reviewing the current plan.
To view a copy of the meeting summary please click here
. The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, August 27th at 6:00pm at the Moore County Senior Enrichment Center. All steering committee meetings are open to the public. Interested parties are welcome and encouraged to attend and speak during the public comment period. A public comment period is scheduled at the end of each meeting.
On Tuesday, August 21, 2012 following a request submitted by Ms. Linda Gore to the Moore County Board of Commissioners the Board voted in favor to replace Ms. Linda Gore on the Steering Committee with the newly hired Moore County Cooperative Extension Director, Mr. Stephen Greer. Mr. Greer will represent the Moore County Cooperative Extension Office on the Committee and serve as an ex-officio member. The Steering Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 6:00pm. To view a copy of the Committee’s next meeting agenda, please click here
Robert Hayter, Chair
My statements at one portion of the July 30 meeting were somewhat misstated in the meeting summary. My comments were to the effect that some Committee members' proposals that the Plan establish policy that development and growth should be directed to municipal areas is overly restrictive. I made the point that (a) land for development is being exhausted within municipal town limits, (b) municipalities often have restrictive zoning laws and development ordinances which can deter desirable developments, (c) development will naturally occur where infrastructure such as water has been constructed, and (d) most city/county water system buildout has occurred around and near municipal boundaries anyway
. Consequently, many businesses and developers may prefer to locate outside municipal boundaries, but, in doing so, they will naturally locate in those adjacent areas where utilities and infrastructure encourage such development. Then the municipal governments will naturally tend to ultimately annex such developments and expand. This is how towns and cities naturally grow.
So, stating a policy to steer major development projects toward municipal areas is unnecessary and overkill. The infrastructure projects of the county and municipalities will naturally steer major development into those areas.
I encourage more of the public to attend and give input to these important meetings.
You can listen to the audio recording of the July 30 meeting using the link below.
The Moore County Land Use Plan Steering Committee held its June meeting at the Senior Enrichment Center on US Hwy. 15-501 from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Chairman Hayter opened the meeting by welcoming the expanded audience of representatives from various community organizations.
The Committee decided not to get bogged down in the meeting trying to wordsmith changes or debate fine points but rather to decide whether the goals and objectives in the 1999 Moore County Land Use Plan remain important and relevant today. As several goals and objectives were reviewed and discussed, the County Staff took notes. Chairman Hayter gave the Staff an action item to prepare new proposed revisions to the Plan based on the Committee discussions.
At the next meeting, the first order of business for the Committee will be to review and refine the proposed text from the Staff.The agenda for this meeting may be read or saved here. And the audio recording of the meeting can be heard using the player to the right.
Read or save the Meeting Minutes here
.And the current list of community contacts here.
You can read or save the 1999 Moore County Land Use Plan with included Planning Staff progress reports here
. I urge all county residents to pay attention to this important effort.Bill Cochrane
The Steering Committee met as planned on May 28th at 6:00pm. As a result of their discussion on ways to increase public participation in the planning process the Committee directed staff to complete two tasks prior to their next meeting. First, contact area print news media outlets asking for their attendance at Committee meetings, and a point of contact to share information with about the planning process. Secondly, the Committee agreed to send staff a list civic, community and/or interest groups in Moore County that should be invited and made more aware of the project. Following the discussion on public participation the Committee began their review of the 1999 Land Use Plan. During their meeting the Committee discussed 1999 Plan’s Vision Statement and will continue their discussion in this regard at their next meeting.
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, June 18th, 2012 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Moore County Senior Enrichment Center located at 8040 US Hwy 15-501 in West End, NC. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.
The audio files of the meeting are available using the links to the right. The presentation by Jeremy Rust can be found below.
I urge all citizens of Moore County to attend and provide input to the Committee meetings, to keep apprised of the progress and decisions, and to make certain that this important effort meets the expectations and desires of our populace.
If you do not participate, you will allow a handful of people to make major policy decisions and recommendations about land use and the future development of Moore County.
Public Participation Discussion:
1999 Land Use Plan Progress Report:
The Southern Pines Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 pm at the Douglass Community Center on Pennsylvania Avenue. Four Board Members were in attendance, representing a quorum; therefore, the meeting proceeded.
As scheduled, the Board considered a request from the owner of the Longhorn Steakhouse Restaurant on US Highway 15-501 to allow a change in the signage on the property. In order to respond to this firm's request, the Town Staff had worked with them to fashion an update to the Town ordinances which might accommodate their needs. Because this approach would affect existing and future businesses in the whole Town, outside the central business district, the Board has been struggling to consider what impact the ordinance change would have and whether they can support the change.
This struggle was mightily apparent in the proceedings of this meeting which was entirely consumed by this one issue. In the end, the Board could not reach a decision, and the matter was essentially tabled while the Town Staff continues to work with the business for yet another month attempting to reach a compromise which will be acceptable to both the firm and to the Board.
From the perspective of this observer, two main comments seem appropriate:
(1) I agree with Dr. Lyerly that the Board somehow managed to take a matter which, at the outset, appeared relatively simple and transform it into a labyrinthine morass like unto the fabled Gordian Knot. This Board continues to be so obsessed with signage and trees that it cannot reach common sense solutions.
(2) To become this entangled and embroiled in confusion over a proposed ordinance change in front of a public hearing audience and a business applicant did not reflect well on this Board -- was not fair to the petitioner nor to the Board members. Nor did it reflect well upon the reputation of the Town of Southern Pines. The Board members and the Staff should have "done their homework" outside the formal meetings -- and should have more quickly done so -- to formulate an ordinance which could attract both consensus and withstand public scrutiny. This Board is not an elected lawmaking body -- it is an advisory board -- and it should not subject itself nor those who come before it to such internal confusions and struggles. The Board and the Staff should have acted to expeditiously reach agreement on any proposed change to the Town Ordinances in an agenda meeting, then at least consult with the Town Council prior to this public hearing and petition meeting, and thus be much better prepared to respond concisely and professionally to this business' appiication for a permit. This meeting wasted all parties' time, and in private enterprise, "Time is Money."The meeting packet may be viewed or saved by clicking here.Bill Cochrane
The Southern Pines Planning Board held their May agenda meeting in the Boyd Room at 180 SW Broad Street at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, May 12, 2012. The Board began by discussing the pending request for signage by the owners of the Longhorn Steakhouse restaurant and the proposed revised Southern Pines ordinance for signage which would accommodate the Longhorn's proposal.
Next, the Board took up their concerns with perceived shortcomings in the landscaping rules in the Southern Pines development ordinances, especially regarding the preservation of existing trees and the planting of new trees. The Board decided to review other towns' development ordinances which are "tighter" and "higher quality" and to discuss their desires with Planning Works, the consultant who is developing the new proposed Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) for Southern Pines.
Finally, the Board discussed the May 28 Town Council meeting to which the Planning Board has been "invited to attend". They expressed some concern and curiosity whether they would be allowed to speak or would simply "serve as wallpaper".
Rust, Jeremy R. [mailto:email@example.com] Sent:
Friday, March 30, 2012 3:43 PMTo:
Moore County Working Lands Protection Plan Consensus Working
Group Meeting - 4/11/2012
Dear Moore County Agricultural Stakeholder,
The Moore County Working Lands Protection Plan Consensus Working Group we will meet again on Wednesday, April 11th from 2:00pm-4:00pm
at the Moore County Agricultural Center (707 Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage
). Interested parties are welcomed to attend. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the amended draft of the Working Lands Protection Plan with the Group and to seek endorsement by the Group on the amended plan so it may be forwarded to each individual Board for their endorsement and finally consideration for adoption by the Board of County Commissioners.
On the Project’s website
there are two updated files under "Informational Links" now ready for your viewing. One is a marked-up version of the last plan draft (shows deleted text struck through (text) and new text underlined (
. The other, a "Clean" version of the plan, is also available in the same location if you would just like to see the amended plan without the revisions highlighted.
Please contact the Moore County Planning and Community Development Department (910-947-5010) or the Moore County Soil and Water Conservation District Office (910-947-5183 ext. 3) if you have questions or comments.
Jeremy R. Rust, RLA -
Moore County Planning and Community Development
P.O. Box 905
1048 Carriage Oaks Drive
Carthage, NC 28327
Phone: (910) 947-5010
Fax: (910) 947-1303
You can read or download the Revised Plan (Amended April 11, 2012) by clicking here
. All references to the hated Five Mile Buffer Zone have been deleted. However, in spite of public encouragement to pare down superfluous content, the Planning Department has made the document much longer than the original document. This is primarily due to the unnecessary inclusion of NC State Statutory sections as appendices and the questionable inclusion of an independent equine report as another appendix.Bill Cochrane